8 Major Factors Affecting Customer Service
Posted on June 24, 2014
Factors Affecting Customer Service
Sometime back, I ordered a few items online that came with a 3-day turnaround time and a money back guaranty. The delivery was late by a couple of hours. I really didn’t think much of it. I mean, I was asleep when it was supposed to have come anyway. But the dude owning the company sent me an email and promptly reimbursed what I paid. I didn’t even ask for it. Heck, I didn’t even realize they were late. Needless to say, they’re forever getting my business because that’s just good customer service to me.
Many factors influence customer service, but at its core, it’s really quite simple. Customer service is providing customers goods or services and ensuring that they are satisfied with what you have given. You need to somewhat put yourself in their shoes.
Customer service has been renowned in the call center industry but in reality, everybody who offers/sells products and services should provide a good customer service. Here are the 8 major factors influencing customer service:
- The Ability to Listen. If you are working in a restaurant and a customer calls your attention and looks like he’s on the verge of filing a complaint, what will you do? Will you rush to their table and just assume you know what’s going on? Of course not. Ask them what’s the issue is and let them do the talking first.
- The Capacity to Find a Fix. Serving the wrong order and apologizing is not enough. How would you feel if you have waited for 15 minutes for the pizza just to be disappointed? Given that’s the case, saying sorry will not fix the issue. As easy as replacing the order (don’t forget to apologize) can make a difference.
- Ability to Personalize the Experience. Always make your customers feel that they are important. Regardless of age, status or race, treat them equally. Don’t be monotonous. How would you respond if you call a company and a standard greeting was given: “Thank you for calling— how can I help you?” in a dead serious tone?
- Ability to Give Authority to Staff. You should trust your staff over anybody else. Give them the authority to decide what needs to be done to satisfy their customer’s needs and wants. Remember that they are your front liners and they know what the best practices are. If you feel that something needs to be decided by you, then go ahead, inform your staff and educate them why it’s you who are deciding.
- Willingness to Accept Feedback. Each and every customer may have a different view of his or her experience. Don’t argue with feedback, rather, accept it. If it’s a positive feedback make sure to acknowledge the staff behind it. You may get negative feedback, too. It happens and you can’t avoid it but at least minimize those. Learn from your negative feedback. Use it as a tool on improving your service.
- Pro-activeness. This goes to both parties, you and your customers. You should preempt your customer’s problem and your problem. Be pro-active. A storm is coming and you are delivering pizzas, you should know that due to the bad weather, delays may arise. It’s out of your control but at least minimize complaints by advising your customers of the current situation.
- Ability to Hear What the Staff is Saying. Your customer services representatives are your ambassadors. Continue asking them about what they can do to help your organization improve its business.
- Staying True to the Brand’s Promise. Different companies have come up with brand promises. Some, unfortunately, are nothing more than empty ones. Don’t let your company make the same mistake.
- Customer service is a tricky business, if only for the fact that customers differ. The above factors, however, remain constant. All you need to do is adapt it to your brand and service as you see fit.